Dean Porter is a former London vendor and will be doing two, yes two cycling events for The Big Issue Foundation this year. Before he joins the team this September for the London to Amsterdam cycling challenge he will be cycling the Prudential Ride London in August.
Dean is a keen cyclist and has previously taken part in 3 cycling challenges for The Big Issue Foundation. Below, Dean shares his motivation for supporting us through these events:
My name is Dean and I sold the Big Issue magazine by Sainsbury's in Chelsea Harbour, London. I was a Big Issue vendor for around 5 years and have lived on the streets, in parks, in hostels and in temporary accommodation.
Getting 'badged up' to sell the magazine was a turning point in my life; it was the moment that I could start to take control of my own life again. With the support of The Big Issue Foundation, I bought myslef a bike and took (and passed!) my CBT training - which helped me to get a delivery job.
In 2012, I saved up and bought myself a second-hand bike to cycle from London to Paris with The Foundation. I have always been a keen cyclist and I trained a lot for the ride.
There have been some very tough times along the way, but I really feel now that I have turned a corner. I'm really pleased to give something back to The Big Issue Foundation by taking part in their bike rides- it is my way of saying thank you to the Foundation for their support.